Class of 2016: From a Horned Frog to a Tiger

Name: Shaye Morrison 
Major: Communication Studies
Graduating Class: 2016
Hometown: Las Vegas, Nevada
Current Location: Columbia, Missouri 

Life isn’t the usual 9-to-5 job for Shaye Morrison ’16. After graduating with an undergraduate degree in communication studies, Morrison decided that four years wasn’t enough time as a Horned Frog, so she stuck around long enough to complete her master’s degree in the same discipline. Now, she finds herself in a new home: Missouri.   

“I decided to continue my educational journey and am now a second-year Ph.D. student at the University of Missouri,” Morrison said. She studies interpersonal and family communication. “I cannot comment on a typical transition from undergraduate to industry, but for me, the hardest part was figuring out how to create a successful work-life balance in a new city and with new friends.”  

Morrison comments on her life at the University of Missouri, teaching and learning. “I am studying the intersection of interpersonal health and family communication with an emphasis on the communication surrounding events like infertility, adoption and miscarriage,” she said. “I also have the unique privilege of teaching an undergraduate Intro to Communication Studies class where I get to interact with new majors and help set them up for success with their degree.” 

The beauty of working in academia for Morrison is that each day is different, characterized by flexibility. “A typical workday usually begins around 8 a.m. at home by answering emails and addressing student concerns,” she said. “After that, my days are filled with meetings for different committees, meetings with my advisor or other research teams about ongoing and future projects, teaching, and attending my own classes.” 

Morrison was prepared for life after graduation because of her time at Texas Christian University. “The Bob Schieffer College of Communication prepared me by ensuring I was trained in how to most effectively communicate with all types of people, how to strategically craft messages, how to network, and also set me up with a repertoire of connections that is unparalleled,” she said.  

The faculty in the Communication Studies department made the biggest difference for Morrison during her time at TCU and beyond. “They were instrumental to my success, my decision to continue on to graduate school, and are still some of my biggest sources of support,” she said. “The people at TCU are truly one of a kind, in the most special way.”  

Advice Morrison thinks all undergraduate students should take is to get to know your professors. “Go to office hours, say hi before and after class, have at least one thing you can contribute to a class conversation,” she said. “Your professors are the people that will be writing your recommendation letters, nominating you for awards, and constantly cheering you on. The faculty in the Communication Studies department at TCU are some of the most brilliant, supportive, compassionate, determined and successful scholars I’ve met.”   

Morrison didn’t expect to be earning a Ph.D. and becoming a professor as an undergraduate student, but once she started her master’s program, she did. Now, she can’t imagine pursuing any other career in the future, and it was all thanks to TCU’s Communication Studies department and faculty.  

Click here for more information about the Communication Studies department.